A heart – the sign of how much I loved these past few weeks.

Finally, the Covid pandemic seems to be drawing to a close. We are back in school and back to the office after 4 months of home-school and working from home. Despite the fact that I like staying at home as much as going outside, four months of restrictions and saturation of particularities of living in an apartment building (honest transcript of big words: meaning having annoying neighbors or maybe we are just easily annoyed by constant loud noises during the day and night) brought me to a point where I was actually smiling all the way to my office last Monday, despite the fact that I was on my bike at 7 in the morning (earliest I have gotten up in about four months) and my saliva froze on my teeth because it was minus 10 Celsius. I didn´t care – I greeted this change in the rhythm of our life like a long-lost friend that you were not allowed to embrace due to Covid restrictions but now you both got vaccinated and it is OK to hug (HUG also being my son´s favorite word – his own words, that he proves every day with deeds of hugging … a lot).

Regardless of my current enthusiasm of this new-found freedoms (not really new, but returned to us), we are truly not completely rid of restrictions. We are somewhere that I would call a Covid-19 limbo land. We are somewhere between being free of restrictions in our daily life (the government calls this the orange state – some of us call it colorful bullshit) and awaiting what happens next. Come to think of it, the daily life regulations mimic the state of the nature perfectly at this time. Not being anything distinct, but many things at the same time.

While I am writing this, the sun is shining with vigor, it is about 15 Celsius outside, but it is still winter. While Ljubljana does not seem wintery (not sure that is a word but right now I am too lazy to google it – had more energy to write this long explanation instead of simply going online and check if wintery really means what I think it means – laziness is funny that way) there are places in Slovenia that have snow…loads of it in fact. Snow and sun, cold and warmth, mountains and sea, ice and water-ready-for-splashing – all available to us in little more than 20 thousand square kilometers.

While some places have intense snowy and icy conditions:

Some are already showing intense sings of spring:

While at some places there were still the remnants of the previous summer.

But none of the pictures above represent the diversity of Slovenian nature as the view from Ljubljana towards the mountains.

So, with the restrictions kind of lifted, the Hertourage were let loose onto the world (well, not onto the world as the borders are mostly still closed, so let us say let loose onto Slovenia) and there was one week of school holidays waiting for us. After just one week of normal school, the kids were back at home. But this time we had our week perfectly planned. So much so, that right now I am trying to stay awake writing this after a week of living like in the heyday of Hertourage. I am certainly getting old because I do not remember Hertouraging being this exhausting. In a course of one week we dipped our feet into over one meter of snow and dipped them again into the still cold waters of the small Slovenian sea. In one weeks time we dressed for proper winter, full on layers for extreme cold, and we took all our clothes of to soak in the hot sun. Honestly, it is hard to imagine a better setting, a nicer weather and a more pleasant company. My kids have grown so much, from being the small kids who I had to look after every second just so they don˙t get lost or put their fingers into a socket, to young persons, capable not only of looking after themselves for a limited amount of time, but also to remind me that we have forgotten our things on the playground.

If the situation in Slovenia would be politically more appealing – meaning that it would be nice if our prime minister would refrain from waging war on all EU democratic institutions and news-reporters – and if the kids would not be so overwhelmed by the desire to play videogames (not that I am a completely blameless party in this affair) – our life would have seen to have been stolen straight from a fairytale scene – like a maiden resting peacefully under the umbrella: